Rheumatoid Arthritis: Explained

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Explained

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a complex disorder that is identified by swelling and pain in the joints. Limbs are the most commonly affected, but it is known to cause damage to other body parts as well.  This disorder leaves you with a general feeling of being tired and unwell.

It is most commonly found in people between the ages of 40 – 70, however it has been known to affect people of any age. It has also been observed that Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs more frequently in women than men.

Another fact that you should know about Rheumatoid Arthritis is that it is an autoimmune disease. This means that it is a result of your own immune system attacking cells in your joints. In time, this damages the cartilage, the joint and the surrounding bone.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

The early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis involve pain and stiffness felt in the small joints like fingers and toes. There are cases where it’s been observed to affect the shoulders and knees at early stages as well. The most common symptoms faced when suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis are:

-          Pain

-          Stiffness

-          Redness (Inflammation)

These symptoms can go from being mildly discomforting to very painful. The process of symptoms getting worse in this case is known as a flare- up.  It’s almost impossible to predict a flare – up. However, in most cases the mornings are the worst and as the day progresses the pain and stiffness begins to reduce.

At present, there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis. There is also no prevention against this as the exact trigger of the condition is unknown. Certain type of viruses and bacteria are believed to be involved in the process, but there is no conclusive backing from research to justify creating treatments based on this assumption.

The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.  Treating rheumatoid arthritis at an early stage can help control symptoms and prevent any permanent disability.

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